Did you get caught in the monsoon rainstorms and flooding that swept through Phoenix Tuesday? A 500-year rain event hit the valley with some parts of Phoenix getting two to three inches of rain in an hour, prompting road closures and water rescues. That much rain only has a 0.2 percent chance of occurring each year. The flooding was so bad that the I-17 freeway was completely shut down for hours near Indian School Road. With the monsoon season in full swing, it’s important for seniors to protect themselves and practice caution. Here are 3 major monsoon safety tips for seniors to remember as the summer storms roll in.
1) Watch the weather: It’s important for older adults to plan ahead by watching the current weather forecasts on TV, the internet or the radio for weather updates before you even leave the house. Also, make sure the severe weather notifications are enabled in your cellphone settings so as to receive warnings when you’re unable to access this information while you travel.
2.) When thunder roars, go indoors: Lightning kills an average of 125 people annually in the United States and injures more than 500 according to the American Red Cross. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning. So when thunder roars, go indoors. While indoors, older adults should unplug expensive electronics as soon as possible and only use a corded phone in case of emergency.
3.) Driving in dustorms
Huge gusts of wind in any thunderstorm can lift huge clouds of dust and reduces visibility to near zero in seconds, which can quickly result in deadly, multi-vehicle accidents on roadways. If you encounter a dust storm and cannot avoid driving into it then pull off the road as far as you can safely do so. Turn off your headlights and taillights. Put your vehicle in "PARK," and/or engage your parking brake. Stay where you are until the dust storm passes.
Higher terrain storms will still be possible through the weekend, but our Valley forecast looks dry again by Sunday. Just remember, as we dry out, temperatures will get hotter with weekend temperatures climbing as high as 109. So please stay hydrated. Taking additional safety steps during the Arizona monsoon season could save your life and the lives of others. Please remember and share these 3 major monsoon safety tips for seniors and stay safe! For more senior safety tips and resources for Arizona retirees, contact Sharon Mason.